10 Worst Green/Blue Screen Effects in Big Budget Movies Chroma key is pretty difficult to do right. You need to not only have the right camera set up, but you also need perfect lighting to make sure your actors match the lighting of your intended background. You also need to ensure that the background in question is three dimensional and convincing and you also need your actors a good distance away from the green or blue screen you’re using to ensure they don’t accidentally cast a shadow and create a weird silhouette.
So it should come as a surprise that not every movie gets it right, here are 10 Green/Blue Screen effects gone horribly wrong. And before we get started, make sure to subscribe to CBR for cool vids like this one, delivered to you daily Star Wars Prequels This whole list could have probably been filled with specific moments from Star Wars. We’ve decided to limit the list just to just one entry. When George Lucas made the prequels he insisted on pushing what technology could do in order to get his vision across. The downside was that filming nearly every scene of the movie either on a chroma key screen, and including masses of visual effects in every shot that wasn’t on one led to a very rubbery, artificial world at best, and made the characters look like they were standing in front of 2D picture at worst.
From the arena battle of attack of the clones, to the four hour long battle on the lava planet of Mustafa in return of the Sith, precisely nothing looks like it’s actually there, not even the actors. Thankfully the more recent Star Wars films haven’t abused chroma key quite as much. The Adventures Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D Robert Rodriguez is the man behind Sin City, a film which along with the other Frank Miller comic movie 300 is a lesson in how to do green screen and digital effects right. He’s also the man behind Sharkboy and Lava Girl, which is wrong in pretty much every capacity. More or less the entire film is layered with CG shots gone wrong. The worst of all though is the goddamn green screens that the movie uses throughout its entire run time. Not one of them looks remotely real and worst of all is that it doesn’t even really match the monstrous CG creations cooked up for the film.
That coupled with some painful lines of dialogue and cringe the inducing delivery of them, not to mention all of those aforementioned poor effects being in 3-D, made for a less than great movie. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over No, we’re not done picking on Robert Rodriguez. Before making Sharkboy and Lava Girl he tried his hand at 3-D with the third Spy Kids movie to a very similar effect. While any of the Spy Kids movies could have been used in place of this we don’t think that there’s much worse than a 3-D movie with some of the flattest keyed in back grounds we’ve ever seen. While later, better movies like Avatar would use 3D to and depth to the world and would use blue screens to tremendous effect, early movies like Spy Kids not only don’t hold up, but were poor at the time too. It’s important to note that Robert Rodriquez was using blue screens to great effect in other movies but for some reason the Spy Kids movies always fell very, very short.
Labyrinth Rather than using giant marionettes in this movie a-la Toho movies, Labyrinth decided that the best way to make puppets dance was to have them operated by men fully covered in black on a black background. While the puppets dancing themselves don’t look bad, after all this is a technique used in theatre all the time, what looks simply horrendous is the appalling backdrop they’re dancing on. It neither looks like the puppets are standing on it, nor does it look like the actress is standing on it. For a movie with great visuals and fantastic practical effects, this one attempt at chroma keying was just unbelievably awful. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull One of the things that the Indiana Jones films get praised for is their approach to practical effects and sets. The stunts were always done by real people and the special effects looked organic.
Indiana Jones was like a cross between an epic stunt show and an old movie serial. This was completely lost in the fourth entry, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While the movie isn’t terrible, the over abundance of CGI including this awful green screen car chase sequence looked downright awful when compared to the other, much older films. The worst part was that Steven Spielberg initially said that the movie was going to make use of practical effects the same way the original movies did.
Unfortunately, that was not what we got. Jupiter Ascending Perhaps the only thing scarier than the Wachowski’s ablity to direct academy award winner Eddie Redmayne to the worst performance of his career are the ever present, but never quite convincing, green screen backgrounds in Jupiter Ascending. Jupiter Ascending uses the Phantom Menace approach to chroma key, which is that as much as possible should be CG’d in post. While the Wachowski’s have been known for their use of CGI and techniques such as bullet time that inspired a wave of action movies, Jupiter Ascending is unfortunately less ground breaking and more regressive.
For a movie that features the gold bearded Channing Tatum soaring through the air, it would really help if the audience believed that the sky was actually there. The Hobbit The Hobbit trilogy suffered from a lot of problems behind the scenes, one of the major ones being Peter Jackson being put in the director’s seat at the last minute and generally not having a clue what he was doing throughout the entire production of the movie. As a result, the big sets and brilliant costume design were largely replaced with CG backgrounds and objects that were put in behind the scenes.
As with most movies that overuse green screen effects the end result was half of the movie just not looking like it belonged there. While certainly not the worst example of bad green screening, so much of the Hobbit looked artificial and with the movie being stretched out from two to three, the budget was spread thinner. It’s not Peter Jackson’s fault but all of those back stage issues ultimately led to the movie looking far worse. Movie Source/Year: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001, New Line Cinema, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002, New Line Cinema, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003, New Line Cinema, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012, Warner Bros. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013, Warner Bros. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, 2014, Warner Bros. Star Trek: Insurrection Insurrection is one of many bad Star Trek films from the original movie til’ now. The grand finale of the film was originally going to utilise a blue screen, however they were unable to get the desired effect.
So rather than actually attempting to do anything new with the set they just… left the blue screen up. As a result we get to see Picard, Worf and crew fighting bad guys on a space ship primed for chroma key. Not only is it incredibly noticeable it doesn’t look right on camera. There is no reason for the blue to be there and rather than it being a mistake that was easily covered it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice We could have taken most of the shots from this movie as a pretty good example. At some point superhero movies decided that the city wasn’t exactly important unless it was being destroyed. Batman vs Superman is plagued with obviously CGI cities and backgrounds, with nearly all the important action shots being filmed on green screen. Judging by the behind the scenes footage of Justice League, that doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon. So it looks like we’re going to get to see a lot more of Batman walking through obviously computer generated landscapes. With that said, it’s not the worst use of chroma key on the list and it’s certainly nowhere near as bad as… Movie Source/Year: Man of Steel, Warner Bros, 2016 Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros, 2016 Justice League, Warner Bros, 2017 Wonder Woman, Warner Bros.
2017 The Green Lantern Making use of lots of blue screens and a fully CG costume is the godawful Green Lantern movie. Not only were the keyed in backgrounds roughly the same quality of an early era PS3 cutscene, but the suit itself that was also keyed in was similarly awful. Rather than looking like The Green Lantern was floating above a video game background, it instead looked like Ryan Reynolds severed head was floating around the movie, only just about looking like it was attached to the costume. While movies like Batman vs Superman and The Hobbit had poorly integrated CG, it can’t even compare with The Green Lantern’s special effects, which were so bad they were even mocked in Ryan Reynold’s later superhero movie: Deadpool Are there any others you wish we’d have mentioned? Leave a comment and let us know! If you like this video, give us a thumbs up and check out the rest of our channel! Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to CBR for cool vids about movies, action heroes, gaming, comics and more!
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